Does Dumb Matter? from my friend Robert Ringer

By Robert Ringer

The bloggers (and media) are still saturating the planet with stories of Sarah Palin's stupidity. So much so that she should start demanding royalties. So, are they right? Is Sarah Palin just plain stupid? Or is she smart but ignorant (uninformed)?

Here's an interesting question: If Sarah Palin really is stupid or ignorant - or both - does that necessarily mean that she's not a good, or even great, leader? Going back to the days of Henry Ford, we've heard tale after tale of people who lacked intelligence but were great leaders.

Now that the media has forced me to think about it, based on my own experience, I'm inclined to believe that leadership has little to do with either intelligence or knowledge. To be sure, both are assets, but not essential to the job of a leader.

When I think of great leaders, two essential characteristics come immediately to mind. One is the ability to pick employees or aides who are smarter than they are. The second is the self-assured confidence that motivates others to follow them. Their enthusiasm rubs off on those around them.

In the modern era, Ronald Reagan is perhaps the best example of this phenomenon. I never saw him as a genius, but just about everyone to the right of Rev. Wright saw him as a great leader.

So, if Sarah Palin really is dumb, it begs the question: Does it matter?

Why did her 1982 high school teammates elect a dumb person to be captain of the Wasilla Warriors' state championship basketball team? Why was the same dumb person later elected mayor of Wasilla, Alaska? And why was this dummy elected governor of the state of Alaska in 2006? Finally, why, as late as November, 2008 (before the national media got its trash-Sarah machine rolling at full blast) did her Alaskan constituents still give her an 83 percent approval rating?

Of course, there's another possibility: What if Sarah Palin is smart - and knowledgeable - but simply isn't adept at expressing herself? In other words, maybe, due to a lack of verbal skills, she just comes across as Chauncey Gardiner or Forrest Gump but is really Laura Ingraham upstairs?

... a lot to think about if SP should decide to light the far-left's hysteria fuse and run for president. I don't now what the outcome would be, but it sure would be fun to watch the progressives choke on their collective apoplexy. And the Peggy Noonan Chapter of Fairleigh Dickinson University Alumni frantically raise money to buy airtime for their Sarah-is-a-dumb-hick ads.

Hmm ... since the current system of electing a president doesn't work (you did notice, didn't you?), why don't we just try something new and have everyone vote for the best-looking person in the field. That way, we'd be certain to get a chance to see if Sarah Palin is smart, stupid, ignorant, defective in expressing herself - or just a great leader.

Wouldn't it be fascinating to find that all she has to offer is an incredible amount of common sense and the ability and courage to apply that common sense to all issues, large and small? What if the first thing she said as president was that she is going to fight to cut out every government program not called for in the Constitution?

If that's what you call dumb, you can be certain that an awful lot of Americans would favor dumb leaders. I know, I know ... probably a fantasy ... but please don't awaken me from my dream.

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